Ingredient Focus | Aloe vera

In the 90’s my mother always used a body lotion that contained Aloe vera. To this day I can remember the green and white packaging. It was on my mother’s bedside table and she used it every morning. As soon as the bottle was empty, she bought a new one.

One day she sent me to the drug store to get her a new Aloe vera body lotion. Easy, I thought. I knew exactly which one to get. So I cycled to the drug store, walked in and walked over to the body lotion shelf. What I didn’t take into account was that there are many different types of body lotions. I panicked a little.

Still I found my mother’s brand, but this brand had many different types of body lotions. They all had the same packaging as the Aloe vera, but the green color had been replaced by a different one. I called an employee. “Do you have this body lotion but from Alooweee-huh-o vera?”, I asked.

Okay, I was quite young and I honestly thought that it was pronounced this way. The employee gave me a strange look and said no. Although in retrospect I think she didn’t understand me. So I bought a body lotion with almond milk. Once at home my mother thanked me for the purchase and added that she actually only uses Aloe vera.

And this is my earliest memory I have with Aloe vera. Now that I’m an adult myself, I understand why my mother was such a fan of it. Especially in the summer months I can’t do without a jar Aloe vera. Therefor it’s time for a post about this miracle plant.

What is Aloe vera?

Photo by tilialucida

Aloe vera is a succulent plant. That means that it stores water in part of its body. The plant is originally from the Arabic Peninsula, but it also occurs in the Mediterranean region, Indonesia, India, Caribbean, Mexico and Canary Islands.

The plant has a short trunk with blue-green leaves. The leaves are long and wide at the base. Then they develop into thin points. On the edges they have horn-like teeth.

The juice of the plant is often used in creams and lotions hat can help against cuts and scrapes, insect bites, rashes and sun burn. The pulp is often used in drinks. Because of this versatility it’s also called Miracle Plant.

The Benefits of Aloe vera for your skin

izzetugutment via Getty Images

Aloe vera has healing powers for the skin. Sometimes people say that the plant also has medicinal effect, but that isn’t completely true. Despite being called Miracle Plant, it contains only 5% active ingredients.

The plant contains Vitamin A, C and E that repair your skin and prevent skin aging. It also contains a little anthraquinone. This works against pain and is antibacterial. The sterols and polysaccharides in this plant have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. This soothes the skin and help reduce irritation. The various amino acids, lipids, tannins and enzymes in the plant also contribute to the effect.

In short, the plant has the following effect on the skin:

  1. It repairs damaged skin.
  2. It prevents skin aging.
  3. It soothes acne and irritated skin.
  4. It softens dry skin.
  5. It gives an hydrating boost.
  6. It reduces scars.
  7. It reduces itching by eczema.
  8. It reduces allergic skin reactions.
  9. It has an anti-bacterial effect.

Aloe vera in skin care

So this plants works wonders for your skin. Time to add it to your skin care products. Here is a K-beauty selection:

Front photo: Science Photo Library

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